Creative Settlement: What Can We Learn From the Bezos?

MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos announced details of their settlement agreement last week, signaling the end of a very high conflict – and very public – divorce without the need for significant litigation. As the wealthiest couple in history, the Amazon Founder and CEO and his now-former wife faced a unique set of challenges when dissolving their union. 

The Bezos settlement is notable for many reasons not the least being that the assets being divided represented significant wealth acquired during the course of the marriage, rather than resources brought to the union by either party. But what is the most striking to us here at Seiden Family Law is actually the creativity of the settlement and the fact that they worked so well together to reach an agreement.

Under terms of their settlement, MacKenzie will retain her Amazon shares (and thus the ability to ride the wave of the stock price) and Jeff maintains the voting rights that were essential to his continued role within the company. This out-of-the-box solution is one that reflects a mutual desire for both the good of the family and the good of the company founded during their marriage. It respects and reflects the best interests of all parties, and emphasizes compromise over conflict.

There’s an important life lesson in this very public divorce, and it isn’t about the drama leading up to the separation or even the details of the eventual settlement. It’s the way the Bezos worked together to find an inventive solution to their situation. As a firm, we pride ourselves on our ability to think creatively in a wide range of settlement circumstances, and we see the Bezos situation as an inspiring case of creativity and vision.

How can we help you to think creatively about your situation?